Friday, April 11, 2008

Good News

I've been waiting for two weeks to get the results back from my Oncotype DX test. It's a genetic test that measures your risk for distant recurrence of breast cancer over the course of your life on a scale of 1-100. Low scores are good, high scores are bad.

Mine was 14. YAY!!! That puts me in the low risk group and implies that the cancer is not highly aggressive or fast-growing.

The other purpose of the test is to help oncologists choose between chemotherapy combined with hormonal treatment, or hormonal treatment alone. A low score indicates that there will be little to no benefit to using chemotherapy.

How this score will be used by my doctors, I am unsure of. It seems that my oncologist still wants to do chemo based solely on my young age. Being younger with breast cancer correlates with a worse prognosis because breast cancer usually shows up in women in their 50's and 60's. Contracting it earlier seems to indicate that the cancer may be more aggressive.

What I am discovering is that treatment for early stage breast cancer is largely an art and not a science, and much depends upon the prevailing opinions of the doctors involved, opinions which can sometimes be subjective or merely best guesses. I'm still reading everything I can to help me make informed decisions, and ask pertinent questions, though it is a little bothersome to not have any clear answers in my particular case.

Anyway....Yay for 14!!

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